Cole Sprouse: My Narcissistic Mum Sacrificed My Childhood For Fame! | E229

Last updated: Jun 2, 2023

The video is an interview with actor Cole Sprouse discussing his childhood, his relationship with his narcissistic mother, and his journey in the entertainment industry.

In this video, Cole Sprouse, known for his roles in Disney Channel's The Sweet Life and Riverdale, talks about his childhood and his relationship with acting and the entertainment industry. He reveals that his single mother pushed him and his twin brother into acting from a young age to put food on the table, but also struggled with mental illness, drug abuse, and narcissism. Sprouse discusses how the industry encourages negative qualities like selfishness and greed, and how he has been trying to unpack his own workaholism and find contentment outside of acting. The video ends with a message of gratitude to the audience and a call to action to subscribe to the channel.

  • Cole Sprouse started acting at eight months old because his single mother needed to put food on the table.
  • His mother had a mental illness, drug abuse, and primarily narcissism.
  • The court deemed her unfit to be a parent.
  • She lived vicariously through the success of her children.
  • Cole Sprouse's mother sacrificed his childhood for fame.
  • Cole Sprouse loved being on stage but didn't like the negative aspects that came with it.
  • Cole Sprouse has been thinking about what compels him into certain professional and artistic pursuits.
  • Cole Sprouse is interested in understanding human beings and what causes them to do what they do.
  • Cole's mother put him and his brother into acting to exploit a financial loophole through labor laws.
  • Cole's mother grappled with mental illness, drug abuse, and primarily narcissism.
  • Cole doesn't think you ever fully reconcile the duality of blood connection and unacceptable behavior.
  • Cole believes that everyone is put here in your life to have interactions with you for some kind of reason.

Cole Sprouse: My Narcissistic Mum Sacrificed My Childhood For Fame! | E229 - YouTube

Cole Sprouse: My Narcissistic Mum Sacrificed My Childhood For Fame! | E229 001

Cole Sprouse's Childhood and Relationship with His Mother

  • Cole Sprouse started acting at eight months old because his single mother needed to put food on the table.
  • His mother had a mental illness, drug abuse, and primarily narcissism.
  • The court deemed her unfit to be a parent.
  • She lived vicariously through the success of her children.
  • Cole Sprouse's mother sacrificed his childhood for fame.
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Cole Sprouse's Relationship with Acting and the Entertainment Industry

  • Cole Sprouse loved being on stage but didn't like the negative aspects that came with it.
  • The entertainment industry encourages the worst qualities of a person, such as selfishness and greed.
  • Authenticity and vulnerability are not encouraged in the industry.
  • Cole Sprouse learned from the negative experiences and used them to carve out who he is.
  • He has a work ethic that has stuck with him since childhood.
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Cole Sprouse's Personal Journey

  • Cole Sprouse has been thinking about what compels him into certain professional and artistic pursuits.
  • Financial pressure was a factor when he was younger.
  • He trained himself to workaholism to feel valued by his environment.
  • He has been trying to unpack his work ethic and what would happen if he stepped away from the arts for good.
  • He questions whether he would be content with a sustainable lifestyle or if he would get bored and return to the arts.
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Cole Sprouse: My Narcissistic Mum Sacrificed My Childhood For Fame! | E229 - YouTube

Cole Sprouse's Personal Interests

  • Cole Sprouse is interested in understanding human beings and what causes them to do what they do.
  • He is interested in the other side of people that we don't often talk about.
  • He is interested in diversifying the guest selection on his show.
  • He is grateful for his community and the growth of his show.
  • He encourages his audience to hit the subscribe button to help the show continue to grow.
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Early Start in the Industry

  • Cole started in the industry at eight months old.
  • He doesn't remember much of his early work.
  • His relationship with work was established at a young age.
  • Financial stability was a driving force for his mother.
  • He doesn't regret his childhood in the industry.
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Gratefulness and Regret

  • Cole is grateful for the financial stability he has now.
  • He traded his youth for financial stability.
  • He doesn't regret his childhood in the industry.
  • Going through the industry toughened him and his brother.
  • He's grateful to have started in a time where anonymity was possible.
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Relationship with Mother

  • Cole's parents divorced when he was young.
  • His mother was a "tortured artist" who struggled with her place in the world.
  • She found self-identity through motherhood and tried to turn it into a profitable business.
  • She lived vicariously through her children's success.
  • Cole sees similarities between his relationship with his mother and the interviewer's relationship with his own mother.
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Impact of the Industry

  • The pressure of his upbringing compelled Cole to continue in the industry.
  • He can't live without the arts and performance.
  • His relationship with work was established at a young age.
  • Financial stability was a driving force for his mother.
  • He doesn't regret his childhood in the industry.
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Mother's Narcissism and Financial Motivation

  • Cole's mother put him and his brother into acting to exploit a financial loophole through labor laws.
  • It made financial sense to her and satisfied her narcissism to be recognized as an artistic success.
  • The entertainment industry broke her and encouraged the worst qualities of a person, such as narcissism, selfishness, and greed.
  • Her selfishness was directly opposed to the fundamental idea of motherhood.
  • The court had to step in and render Cole and his brother towards their father because of their mother's selfishness.
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Mother's Mental Illness and Narcissism

  • Cole's mother grappled with mental illness, drug abuse, and primarily narcissism.
  • Her wicked narcissism was the inability to perceive anything outside her own perspective.
  • Selfishness is encouraged in the entertainment industry, but it doesn't work for being a mother.
  • The legal system observed her selfishness and declared her unfit.
  • Cole sees his mother's narcissism as the biggest sickness.
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Dealing with Toxic Family Members

  • Cole doesn't think you ever fully reconcile the duality of blood connection and unacceptable behavior.
  • It's the difference between the immortal abstract connection to someone and how you distinguish it from anyone else you would immediately cut off.
  • Cole arrived at the philosophy that almost everything is some sort of lesson that we must take.
  • Lessons like dealing with toxic family members are the greatest lesson for your humanity that you can acquire.
  • The distinction between love and care and abandonment and pain is the lesson you have to learn.
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Lessons Learned

  • Cole believes that everyone is put here in your life to have interactions with you for some kind of reason.
  • Lessons like dealing with toxic family members are all in a way reflecting back and carving you into the person you are.
  • Cole doesn't call himself a religious man, but he believes in fate and the lessons we must learn.
  • The lesson of dealing with toxic family members is a reflection of the distinction between love and care and abandonment and pain.
  • It's a lesson that you have to learn and it's all in a way reflecting back and carving you into the person you are.
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Cole Sprouse's Childhood

  • Going through pain tests your patience and love.
  • People who persist and find love after pain are the strongest.
  • At some point, you have to put your love for yourself first.
  • Cole's journey with his mother was not normal behavior.
  • Social Services got involved when Cole was young.
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Custody Bias Towards Mothers

  • The US legal system is biased towards mothers in cases of divorce and custody.
  • Cole's father should have taken custody.
  • Cole would spend time with his father once a week.
  • His father had a healthy regimen for them.
  • Cole realized he was happier with his father.
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Not a Victim

  • Cole doesn't want to be perceived as a victim.
  • He doesn't wear victimhood on his shoulder.
  • He doesn't like to act like he is his wounds.
  • He traded trauma for wisdom.
  • The media sensationalizes scars and victimhood.
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Triumph Over Pain

  • The media should talk about the strength that comes from pain.
  • Oprah is a beautiful example of success despite a tough upbringing.
  • The current climate encourages victimization of pain over triumph over it.
  • Cole doesn't want to be the guy who talks about his pain all the time.
  • You are given lessons in life so that you can learn and grow.
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Cole's Lessons from Trauma

  • Trauma teaches us valuable lessons that shape who we are.
  • These lessons should not go away because they help us deal with our environment.
  • Just like the lesson of not putting your hand in fire, some lessons are necessary to learn.
  • Cole is a "dumbass" who needs to learn from his own mistakes.
  • Validation and workaholism are two traits that have stuck with Cole.
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Cole's Narcissistic Mother

  • Cole's mother was a narcissist who sacrificed his childhood for fame.
  • She would often use Cole and his brother as props to further her own career.
  • Cole's mother would also put him down and make him feel inadequate.
  • These experiences have shaped Cole's fluctuation between narcissism and self-loathing.
  • Validation from others is a big factor in Cole's work and personal life.
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The Spiral of Imposter Syndrome

  • Imposter syndrome is prevalent in Los Angeles.
  • Vulnerability and authenticity are not encouraged traits in the entertainment industry.
  • Interviewers often ask safe and uninteresting questions.
  • The podcast space allows for nuance and context in conversations.
  • It creates a way to discover the honest humanity and opinions of people.
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The Gray Morality of Humanity

  • Entertainment media only sells the worst and best people, not the humans in between.
  • Most people have a kind of gray morality that doesn't fit into sensationalized narratives.
  • The podcast space is great for connecting with people and having honest conversations.
  • It allows for discovering the moderate places that people sit in.
  • It is a way to combat the sensationalism of the internet.
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Cole Sprouse's Journey in Acting

  • Started acting at eight months old, doing diaper and milk commercials.
  • Worked on a sitcom called Grace Under Fire and did other TV spots.
  • Booked Big Daddy with Adam Sandler when he was around six years old.
  • Used the economic loophole of identical twins in acting to double the amount of hours he could work.
  • Struggled to balance art and commerce in his acting career.
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The Balance Between Art and Commerce

  • Actors from financially stable backgrounds have more freedom to pursue artistic projects.
  • Financial stability allows actors to take on cool projects and reinvigorate their passion for acting.
  • Actors also have to make money alongside pursuing their passion.
  • There is a balance between art and commerce that many people don't understand.
  • Actors are often judged for doing commercial gigs and then going back to the editorial world.
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The Use of Twins in Acting

  • Identical twins can be used in acting to double the amount of hours they can work.
  • This is an economic loophole for young actors.
  • It allows them to work more and make more money.
  • However, it can also commodify the art of acting.
  • It can be hard to see acting as a pursuit of passion when it is professionalized or turned into a work dynamic.
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The Journey Through Acting

  • Cole Sprouse's journey through acting has been one of trying to balance art and commerce.
  • He has had to remind himself consistently that he loves acting.
  • He has taken jobs that aren't paying as much but doing cool projects to make himself feel more in love with the discipline.
  • He has struggled to balance art and commerce in his acting career.
  • He has tried to find a balance between making money and pursuing his passion for acting.
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Early Acting Career

  • Cole's first acting job was in a diaper commercial at 8 months old.
  • He and his twin brother, Dylan, were cast in the TV show "Grace Under Fire" at age 6.
  • They then went on to star in the Disney Channel original movie "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody."
  • After the success of "The Suite Life," Cole and Dylan worked on other direct-to-DVD movies for cash.
  • Cole had a recurring role on the TV show "Friends."
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Relationship with Acting

  • Cole was not cognizant of his feelings towards acting at the beginning of his career.
  • As he got older, he realized that acting was taking him away from playing with his friends and going to school.
  • He did not enjoy the commercial aspect of acting.
  • Working on "The Suite Life" allowed him to be homeschooled and avoid the negative experiences of American public high school.
  • Cole picked up photography as a hobby to escape his depression and express his creative vision.
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Creative Freedom

  • Cole felt that as an actor, he did not have much creative agency over a project.
  • He turned to photography as a way to express his vision and show what he could do with creative freedom.
  • Cole wanted to tell people that he was more than just a commercial employee actor.
  • He struggled with expressing himself and his self-identity through acting.
  • Cole's photography allowed him to have more control over his creative expression.
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Returning to Acting

  • Cole took a break from acting to attend college.
  • He made a promise to someone that he would return to acting after college.
  • Cole came back to acting with a newfound appreciation for the craft and a desire to take on more challenging roles.
  • He is currently starring in the TV show "Riverdale."
  • Cole is grateful for the opportunities that acting has given him, but also recognizes the sacrifices he had to make as a child actor.
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Cole's Love for Performance

  • Cole loves to perform in front of people.
  • He loves the presentedness of a performance.
  • He loves performing for the crew and being on stage.
  • He didn't like the fame that came with acting when he was young.
  • Now, social media has made the whole thing about fame.
  • Celebrity profile has become far too intermingled into work as a professional.
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Cole's Instagram Account

  • Cole created an Instagram account called Camera Duels.
  • The account takes pictures of people taking pictures of him covertly without asking permission.
  • It encourages people to take pictures of him.
  • Cole doesn't mind it because he understands that people want to show others what they're up to.
  • He thinks people are conditioned to do that.
  • He believes there is probably a greater connection to be made that exists.
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Cole's Emotional Connection

  • Cole believes that people are always searching for a deeper emotional connection to another human being.
  • He would much rather have someone ask him about his life than take a picture with him.
  • He thinks people want to show others what they're up to right now.
  • He believes that most people have to understand that there is probably a greater connection to be made that exists.
  • He doesn't mind when people take pictures with him, but it means that person's not going to be a cool connection to him personally.
  • He remembers almost every single conversation he's had with someone who talked to him about a film he did called Five Feet Apart.
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Cole's Relationship with Fame

  • Cole's mother sacrificed his childhood for fame.
  • He struggled with social anxiety that came along with the fame.
  • He loves performing, but he didn't like the fame that came with it when he was young.
  • Now, social media has made the whole thing about fame.
  • Celebrity profile has become far too intermingled into work as a professional.
  • All of us within the industry are recoiling and trying to figure out a way to deal with that.
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Cole Sprouse on Social Anxiety

  • Cole Sprouse discusses the pressure of social media and the desire for validation through likes and followers.
  • He shares his own experiences with social anxiety, which he describes as a warm, suffocating feeling.
  • Sprouse explains that he uses grounding techniques, such as activating his five senses, to help manage his anxiety.
  • He credits therapy and a Vancouver-based therapist for teaching him these techniques.
  • Sprouse emphasizes the importance of being present and grounded in the moment to combat anxiety.
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